Beloved by financial advisers who do business with his organization by paying for potential client leads, Dave Ramsey stepped into some controversy last year when an advertiser who promised consumers freedom from burdensome timeshare real estate contracts was sued by the state of Washington.
A widely popular radio host who preaches the gospel of debt-free living, Dave Ramsey on his website promotes a variety of financial services products, companies and professionals, including financial advisers. Advisers pay the advertising fee and are part of a website directory, called SmartVestor Pros.
Until recently, those companies included Timeshare Exit Team, which was the center of a 2020 lawsuit by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
According to the complaint, which was filed in February, Timeshare Exit Team, also known as Reed Hein & Associates, used numerous unfair or deceptive business practices related to services to “exit” consumers’ timeshares.
In an episode of the Ramsey Show last Thursday, a video of which was also posted on YouTube, Ramsey blamed the high cost of various lawsuits from Washington state and the timeshare industry as the reason why Timeshare Exit Team is no longer an advertiser.
Indeed, the company has gotten more than 20,000 consumers out of unwanted timeshare contracts and, while hugely successful, is facing millions of dollars of legal fees and may be running out of cash, according to Ramsey.
Timeshare Exit Team “had to pull off of our show,” Ramsey said during a bromide about the timeshare industry that starts at about the 1:50 mark. “They couldn’t afford to advertise anymore.”
“They’re not out of business yet, but they’re having to defend themselves against the attorney general of the state of Washington, they’re having to defend themselves against a massive set of lawsuits brought time and time and time again,” Ramsey said.
“And all they have done is get people out of timeshares,” he said. “So, that’s why you don’t hear them on the air here anymore.”
Ramsey and his various businesses are not named in the Washington state complaint but are mentioned a handful of times, with the complaint naming the Dave Ramsey Show as “Reed Hein’s most profitable endorsement.”
A spokesperson for Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the complaint against Timeshare Exit Team is ongoing.
Brandon Reed, CEO of Timeshare Exit Team, did not return calls this week to comment. A spokesperson for Dave Ramsey also did not return messages.
A timeshare is shared ownership of vacation real estate and typically sold by the week. Timeshare-exit businesses have recently proliferated as many consumers look to get out of the contracts, and that may increase due to consumers’ traveling less due to Covid-19 and looking for cash.
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As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.